Ridgeland police help raise awareness for mental health
Members of the Ridgeland Police Department will participate in a hike next week to raise awareness about mental health and suicide prevention among first responders.
RPD will be participating in the I Will Listen Ruck 2023 event on Friday, Dec. 15, on Ridgeland’s multi-use trails.
The event is sponsored by Blue H.E.L.P., which is part of the organization FIRST H.E.L.P., to raise awareness for mental health and suicide prevention among first responders.
“First H.E.L.P. reduces mental health stigma for first responders through education and awareness and assists them in their search for healing,” A statement from First H.E.L.P. reads. “We acknowledge the service and sacrifice of first responders lost to suicide and care for their families in the aftermath of a suicide loss.”
The team will hike 3.11 miles in honor of Sergeant Ray Daniels who passed away unexpectedly last July at his home.
“It is very special to the department and our officers that we can participate in honor of Sergeant Daniels,” said Ridgeland Police Chief Brian Myers.
Myers said Daniels “served his community with honor, dedication, and selflessness for more than 20 years.” Myers said Daniels wore many hats in his time with RPD and touched many lives.
“He was instrumental in training, instructing, and leading a generation of police officers in our city as a patrolman, interdiction officer, training officer, supervisor, swat operator, coworker, and beloved friend. His impact and service shall forever be enshrined in the men and women who carry on his legacy,” Myers said.
The I Will Listen campaign was founded by NAMI New York City in 2013 with a mission to “tear down” the stigma and misconceptions associated with mental health conditions. NAMI New York City has shared resources with communities to start their own I Will Listen campaigns.